Armored Saint: John Bush (vocals); Jeff Duncan (guitar, vocals); Phil Sandoval (guitar); Joey Vera (bass, vocals); Gonzo (drums).
Additional personnel: Aaron Plunkett (percussion).
Personnel: John Bush (vocals, background vocals); Jeff Duncan (guitar, background vocals); Phil Sandoval (guitar); Joey Vera (bass guitar, background vocals); Gonzo (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Dave Jerden.
Recording information: Eldorado Studio, Hollywood, CA.
Photographers: William Hames; John Scarpati.
Arranger: Armored Saint.
Recorded soon after the tragic and untimely death of guitarist Dave Prichard from leukemia, Symbol of Salvation is arguably Armored Saint's finest hour. In what is certainly their best-produced and most diverse album, the band pays tribute to their fallen friend with every performance. And since many of these tracks were co-written by Prichard in his last months on earth, the results are often extremely personal and dramatic -- never more so than on the hard-driving "Burning Question," the beautiful "Another Day," and the epic "Tainted Past," which actually features a solo from Prichard. Other highlights, such as "Reign of Fire" and "Dropping Like Flies," find the band thrashing harder than ever, while "Last Train Home" and "Truth Always Hurts" (written by new guitarist Jeff Duncan and returning founding member Phil Sandoval) see them at their most commercial. The chaotic drumming of "Tribal Dance" is another wonderful surprise, and the venemous "Hanging Judge" is simply an awesome all-around metal song. While all Armored Saint albums (save for the very average Raising Fear) have their particular strengths, Symbol of Salvation is probably the best place to start discovering the band. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia